ABSTRACT

This chapter describes how problem-solving is an emotion regulation strategy, but often gets overlooked because clients are so keen to get rid of unpleasant feelings. The act of being suicidal also impedes the problem-solving process – the client is trying to do away with the seat of the emotions in the body, rather than work out how the emotion is actually trying to help. The notion of moving between the forest and the trees is explored – how to help the client in the moment to match the intensity of feeling to the situation, and then how to use the emotion generally to guide a life-direction, solving the big-ticket items like loneliness. An example of a second diary card is shown, to help clients keep track of longer-term problem-solving.